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Old September 22nd, 2020, 11:38 AM   #1
Bobobodopalus
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expanding plc knowledge and skills

Hello all
i started my current job april this year where i became the companys Main electrical guy and plc programmer, before that i was in university where i covered some basic pls programming, control techniques/methods etc etc.
unfortunatley none of that crosses to the real world very well and i've learnt mostly from scratch, the good folks here and at mrplc have been very very helpful and i appreciate all the information people spend their time to share.
so my question is where can i expand my knowledge? i see alot of post talking about networking with IP, profibus,ethercat etc and i have no clue about this stuff and would like to know more.


fortunately (or unfortunatley) for me my company only uses omron PLC's and HMI's so i have become pretty good with their software, again i would like to learn a bit about other plc's i know they will be 80% the same from brand to brand but i cant imagine my cv looking amazing in 5 years and only having knowledge of one plc brand.


so with all that, where are some good places to start on alot of this knowledge? and thanks for all the help so far
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 12:15 PM   #2
widelto
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There are good PLCs channels on youtube. You can start with them.
PM I have some good info.
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 05:51 PM   #3
Ken Moore
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You can download Rockwell's CCW software, the 800 series are small "brick" PLC's. The basic version is free, and it has a built in simulator that will run for 10 minutes.

It would expose you to another platform at no cost. Even if you don't have a drive, you could go through the motions of adding a power flex drive and write logic to control it over Ethernet I/P.
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 03:42 AM   #4
AlfredoQuintero
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I would recommend that you have a look at Codesys. You can setup Codesys in a RaspberryPi in evaluation mode which can run for about an hour, and the Windows engineering environment is free of charge. The USB dongle for the licensed RaspberryPI version of Codesys is less than one hundred Euros and a RaspberryPI itself is also less than a 100 Euros, so relatively inexpensive. Since Codesys supports EtherNet/IP scanner functionality, like Omron does, if you have some EtherNet/IP IO in the workshop you can play around with Codesys which is a very good PLC environment, conforming to IEC standards and so on. Many PLC vendors actually use the Codesys programming environment in their own environment, so you kill many birds with one stone by learning Codesys, as Beckhoff (TwinCAT), Schneider, Mitsubishi Electric (latest generation of PLCs) use Codesys in one way or the other. Good luck.
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 06:58 AM   #5
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For Allen Bradley RS Logix 1000 & 1100 you can download a free software and emulator. Both PLC's are now obsolete, but the instruction sets are very similar to ML1400 and SLC-500. The ML1400 will be around for a while and the SLC is mature, but still will be around a while. Also, this can be a basic building block for Compact/Control Logix. Using some of the same instruction sets. https://theautomationblog.com/how-to...for-free-2020/

Another free resource and used basically world wide is Automation Direct [Click, Productivity 1000/2000/3000] All have free software and the Productivity has a built in simulator. https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/home/home

Good Luck and enjoy the learning process.
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 07:54 AM   #6
Gene Bond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockfordmfg View Post
<snip>
Another free resource and used basically world wide is Automation Direct [Click, Productivity 1000/2000/3000] All have free software and the Productivity has a built in simulator. https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/home/home

Good Luck and enjoy the learning process.
Productivity does not have a simulator (I wish it did), but DoMore does...
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 08:04 AM   #7
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Udemy

Have a look on Udemy- there are some very good mini courses.
Paul Lynn's are the best
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Bond View Post
Productivity does not have a simulator (I wish it did), but DoMore does...
Apparently it is a new feature (See PRS-11):

https://cdn.automationdirect.com/sta...e-Overview.pdf
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 11:05 AM   #9
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For use in the real world in UK/Europe I would concentrate your efforts with AB PLC's Compact & Controllogix (Studio5000), Siemens S7 range (TIA Portal), Mitsubishi FX & Q range (GXWorks2 & 3) and Omron, See MrPLC.com for a very good following.


This list is not exhaustive and I would look into motion control within these platforms.


There is a serious mass of software and hardware to ' become familiar with ' but its all worth it in the end as long as you stick with it.


Steve
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Last edited by nehpets; September 23rd, 2020 at 11:07 AM. Reason: speling mistake
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 11:58 AM   #10
Bobobodopalus
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thanks for all the replys, i'll take a look through these, i have managed to have a go with codesys but only programming no testing. i'd like to use siemens and portal but the licensees are killer.
i've not really looked at AB at all i will find some time one day to have a go with some of these
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 04:07 PM   #11
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You can download a trial version of portal, it will run for 21 days.

https://support.industry.siemens.com...dti=0&lc=en-WW
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 04:26 PM   #12
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If you aren't already, get familiar with virtual machines (VMs). VMware Workstation and VirtualBox are the two popular Windows virtual machine tools. Both offer free and paid options. Free options are for personal use (learning). Windows licensing can get a bit tricky.

Avoid installing software on the *real* PC. Try to run everything in a VM. Keep that VM backed up to an external drive. If anything ever happens to your PC (it will), all you would have to do is reinstall the VM software and copy over the VMs from the external source. You won't have to spend days reinstalling software and license keys.

Keep software from different manufacturers separated into their own VMs. And when dealing with trial versions. Get your VM setup and take a snapshot. This is sort of a "point in time" backup. Then install the trial software. Ideally don't connect that VM to the internet which prevents the trial software from phoning home.

At the end of the trial, if you need more time, revert to that saved snapshot and reinstall the trial software. That is, unless they assign a unique key to you then that trick won't work.

As mentioned by nehpets, try to focus on the most common brands. Rockwell and Siemens are quite different, but they are the big ones. I would start with those. And yes, YouTube is an excellent free resource.

OG
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Old September 24th, 2020, 10:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockfordmfg View Post
Apparently it is a new feature (See PRS-11):

https://cdn.automationdirect.com/sta...e-Overview.pdf
Productivity does not have a simulator. This is scheduled for release soon.
The information has now been corrected on the website.
This is according to automation direct.
Regards,
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Old September 24th, 2020, 03:47 PM   #14
Gene Bond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gclshortt View Post
Productivity does not have a simulator. This is scheduled for release soon.
The information has now been corrected on the website.
This is according to automation direct.
Regards,
That's great news that they are planning a simulator. I've not found a better way with just my processor & no I/O, than to copy and paste tasks from a customer's version and mine, and disabling the I/O alias task... It's kind of a pain!
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Old September 24th, 2020, 03:56 PM   #15
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I agree with you Gene.
This wil be a welcomed feature. It will happen in release version 3.8.
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